ELECTION 2013: Local ballots in California to benefit roads get voter approval

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/7/2013

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, voters in communities along the California coast overwhelmingly backed measures to raise more money for transportation work through higher taxes.

Voters in the city of El Monte chose to renew a one-half percent “transactions and use” tax for five years. Measure GG on the ballot was approved by a 71 to 29 percent margin.

The tax will continue to provide revenue to support essential public services including street repairs and lighting.

In the San Francisco area, voters in Rohnert Park decided to maintain a sales tax rate of 9.5 percent. The state gets 7.5 percent of the sales tax with county and local governments claim the rest.

Measure A was approved by a 68 to 32 percent margin. As a result, one-half percent sales tax, or 50 cents per $100 purchase, will be renewed to benefit work that includes street paving and pothole repair in the community located off the 101 Freeway.

The fee was scheduled to sunset in 2015. The tax now can continue to be collected unless the city council decides to end it.

A couple hours’ drive south in Marina voters decided by a 3-to-1 margin to charge the city’s two card rooms a municipal tax. Measure I authorizes a 5 percent card room tax on all revenue.

The community located off the Pacific Coast Highway will get an estimated $175,000 to benefit general municipal services such as public safety and street maintenance.

Voters in four communities in Marin County decided on sales tax measures to benefit transportation work.

By a 65-35 percent margin, voters in the city of San Rafael decided to renew a 0.5 percent sales tax and add another 0.25 percent to benefit the city’s general fund. The taxes will be collected for 20 years.

Implemented in 2005, the tax raises about $7 million annually for repairing city streets and maintaining emergency services. Approval of Measure E on the ballot will put the total sales tax rate at 9.25 percent.

In neighboring San Anselmo, voters approved adding 0.5 percent to the sales tax rate for the next 10 years. Measure D on the ballot was approved by a 69 to 31 percent margin. The tax increase will benefit efforts to repair potholes, repave roads, reduce traffic congestion, as well as maintain and improve street medians, sidewalks and drainage.

About 75 percent of voters in nearby Larkspur backed a ballot question to determine whether another 0.5 percent will be added to the 8.5 percent sales tax rate. Measure C will supply the city with revenue for local streets and roads for five years.

Voters in Corte Madera supported a question about whether to increase the city’s 8.5 percent sales tax rate to 9 percent. Approval of Measure B was approved by two-thirds of voters. As a result, another 0.5 percent from the sales tax will be provided to address local needs that include street repairs.

The community off the 101 Freeway will be charged the higher tax rate for six years.

For more 2013 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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